This butterfly sensory bin uses rice, faux flowers and butterflies as a fun and interactive way for kids to learn. Printable butterfly question cards included as well.
Observing the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly is one of our favorite Spring activities for kids. This butterfly sensory bin will celebrate the beauty of butterflies all while teaching children about butterflies in a hands on way.
The bin includes printable question cards so that children can really delve into the development of butterflies and their impact on the environment.
Colored Rice Butterfly Sensory Bin
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a staple book in our home, and butterflies are just the most beautiful representation of this time of rebirth.
What you need to make the butterfly sensory bin:
2lb bag white rice
Green food coloring
Mini Yellow Pony Beads
Butterfly net and tweezers (from an insect home from Dollar Tree)
How to make the “green grass” colored rice:
Making colored rice is a really easy process. The question that many people have about it is whether or not the child’s hands will be colored after playing. If you let the rice dry completely before coloring, it shouldn’t leave any color residue on fingers!
Pour the rice into a gallon sized bag.
Squeeze ½ teaspoon green food coloring into the bag. Close the bag and carefully shake the bag to mix the green food coloring onto the rice.
If a darker color is desired, add more food coloring in small amounts and carefully mix.
How to play with the butterfly sensory bin
Once dry, carefully place the green “grass” rice into the bottom of a plastic or wood container. Arrange the flowers around the rice.
Carefully place a half dozen mini yellow pony beads into the center of one of the flowers. Print and cut out the butterfly question cards. Have your child pick one of the cards and discover the answer together by exploring the sensory bin.
Questions about butterflies:
Q: What do butterflies eat?
A: Show your child how butterflies land on a flower and then use their tongue like a straw to drink up some sweet nectar.
Q: Where do butterflies sleep?
A: Butterflies huddle up almost anywhere to sleep! Have your child hide your butterfly for the night in the sensory bin.
Q: How do butterflies get around?
A: They use their beautiful wings to fly! Have your child pretend that their butterfly is flying around the sensory bin.
Q: How do butterflies help the flowers?
A: They pollinate flowers. While they are drinking the nectar, pollen sticks to butterflies legs and feet. Show the child how this might happen by stringing the mini yellow pony beads onto a leg of the butterfly. Then show how the butterfly flies to the next flower, where some of the pollen falls off and stays on that flower. That is how pollination works!
Q: How many legs do butterflies have?
A: 6! Have your child count the legs and find out.
Q: How many body parts do butterflies have?
A: 3! Head, thorax, abdomen – let your child count and find them.
Q: What other body parts do butterflies have?
A: Eyes, antenna, wings. But before telling the child, let them examine the butterfly to find out for themselves.
Print these butterfly question cards here
Simply click on the image below to download and print!
Have so much fun playing with this butterfly sensory bin! What a fun Spring activity for kids.
More Spring Sensory Play:
- Easter Sensory Bin with Colored Rice
- Rainbow Water Bead Sensory Bottle
- Flower Garden Soap Foam Sensory Play
More Butterly Activities:
- Life Cycle of a Butterfly Playdough Mat: Free Printable
- Butterfly Life Cycle Craft from Recycled Egg Cartons
- Colorful Butterfly and Watercolor Black Glue Craft for Kids
- Paper Butterfly Craft for Kids with a Party Horn Tongue
- Butterfly File Folder Games: Free Printable!
- Butterfly Life Cycle Craft with Pasta
- Butterfly Life Cycle Sensory Bin
- Coffee Filter Butterfly Magnets: B is for Butterfly
- Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft: Invitation to Create